Employees to BMC: Suspend officer who slapped junior or we'll go on indefinite protest

Engineers and employees of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have threatened to go on an indefinite protest if the civic body doesn’t suspend a deputy municipal commissioner who allegedly slapped a subordinate officer last week.

(Right to left) Sainath Rajadhyaksha, general secretary, Brihanmumbai Municipal Engineers Union, Mahabal Shetty, general secretary, Municipal Mazdoor Union, and Sukhdev Kashid, secretary, Municipal Engineers Association, with other engineers outside the commissioner’s office yesterday
(Right to left) Sainath Rajadhyaksha, general secretary, Brihanmumbai Municipal Engineers Union, Mahabal Shetty, general secretary, Municipal Mazdoor Union, and Sukhdev Kashid, secretary, Municipal Engineers Association, with other engineers outside the commissioner’s office yesterday

A report on the incident has been submitted to the municipal commissioner, who will read it today and take action. The incident allegedly occurred on July 2, when Ranjit Dhakane, deputy municipal commissioner, slapped Vijay Mankar, a junior overseer.

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Dhakane is also said to have tried to hit Assistant Engineer Ramesh Choube, who dodged the attack, and allegedly also got into a scuffle with R/Central ward officer Kishore Gandhi. Mankar reportedly registered a non-cognisable offence with the Kasturba police station in Borivli.

Explaining how the events unfolded, a BMC engineer said, “Dhakane had scheduled a visit to Bansi Nagar in Borivli (East) at around 9 am on July 2. At 12 noon, Dhakane turned up and the ward officer too reached the spot. On noticing paver blocks on the footpath, Dhakane got angry and first tried to hit Choube, an engineer with the Solid Waste Management department.

Choube somehow managed to avoid the attack. Dhakane then slapped Junior Overseer Vijay Mankar and also got into an argument with Ward Officer Kishore Gandhi.”

‘Suspend him’
After the incident, the two engineers’ unions Brihanmumbai Municipal Engineers Union and Municipal Engineers Association formed a joint action committee (JAC) and demanded that Dhakane be suspended. The union leaders met Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta at 5 pm yesterday to discuss the incident.

“If Dhakane is not suspended for this incident, then all municipal workers will protest together,” said Sukhdev Kashid, secretary, Municipal Engineers Association. According to Sainath Rajadhyaksha, general secretary, Brihanmumbai Municipal Engineers Union, “The municipal commissioner is showing a positive response in relation to taking action against Dhakane.

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But, if Dhakane is not suspended, we will go on an indefinite agitation. There is unrest among engineers and allied staff of Zone VII.” For now, the engineers have refused to work with Dhakane, saying they will not assist him in any job or project.

Should their demand for his suspension not be met, engineers, along with municipal workers, will go an indefinite protest. Additional Municipal Commissioner (AMC) Sanjay Deshmukh submitted an inquiry report on the incident to the municipal commissioner last night.

Commissioner speak
Ajoy Mehta, municipal commissioner, told mid-day, “I have received the report from AMC Sanjay Deshmukh but I haven’t read it. I will read it tomorrow (today) and take action accordingly.”

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